Well, Saturday was a day for celebrations I suppose. Had I known after the girl’s award ceremony that Dr. Wardynski were about to win Superintendent of the Year from the Alabama PTA, I think we might have stayed in Mobile another night to watch.
But since I didn’t find out until after we were home, I guess we missed the opportunity to shake his hand as he had shook the girl’s after her award.
In other words, it would seem that Dr. Wardynski had many reasons to make the drive to Mobile: To celebrate the Reflections award winners (12 came from Huntsville), to watch Huntsville Council of PTAs and various PTA groups win 17 of the 24 awards that were handed out Saturday night, and to be named Superintendent of the Year by the Alabama Council of PTAs after a mere nine months on the job.
[Okay, I’m going to get a bit snarky now. Before that happens, I want to acknowledge that Dr. Wardynski did not have to be at the Reflections Award banquet at 12:30pm on Saturday. That was still a nice gesture as I wrote about yesterday, and he still has my thanks for that.]
It’s a shame that as a member of not one but two PTAs in Huntsville that I wasn’t aware that the Huntsville Council of PTAs was planning to nominate Dr. Wardynski. I suppose that I should have been paying closer attention to the meetings where this was discussed.
Oh that’s right, I wasn’t, as a member, actually welcomed to participate in the discussions to nominate Dr. Wardynski. Those were private meetings of the Huntsville Council PTA Officers and the PTA Presidents who were able to attend the meeting. The public wasn’t asked for their opinion or input.
As I have said before, I do appreciate the PTA. They regularly and often go out of their way to honor and support all of our kids. I appreciate their support for my daughter’s video this weekend.
However, I do, clearly disagree with their decision to nominate Dr. Wardynski for superintendent of the year. And that’s the problem we’re facing here.
While most of the Huntsville Council of PTA’s decisions aren’t controversial in any way, this one clearly was. There are many PTA members, both parents and teachers, who are not in agreement with the Council’s decision on this matter. And while it’s true that this is just one decision, this is a huge decision.
By making this decision to nominate Dr. Wardynski the Huntsville Council of PTAs is in effect telling the city and the state that the entire Huntsville PTA supports and endorses Dr. Wardynski’s decisions. These decisions include:
- Merging and closing, closing, and closing schools.
- Supporting cutting teacher salaries while expanding his own.
- Refusing to reduce class sizes.
- Insisting on hiring unqualified “teachers” who cost more than qualified ones. (By the way, the Council actually wrote in their October Newsletter that this contract would bring “top teachers from across America into our school system.”
- Privatizing our public schools.
- Depending upon high-stakes testing because it’s easier for unqualified teachers to proctor tests than it is to teach.
- Cutting the Special Education Budget to the tune of $7,000,000–which is, not surprisingly the exact amount that Wardynski is claiming we will be in the black come September 2012–and in doing so made our classrooms unsafe.
By nominating Dr. Wardynski for Superintendent of the Year, these, and many more, are things that the Huntsville Council of PTAs are endorsing.
Maybe it’s just me, but I fail to see how endorsing these positions is supporting and speaking on behalf of children and youth in the schools.
As I have said, I support and believe in the goals of the PTA. I like everyone I know involved in our PTAs. Bringing parents and teachers together, to work together toward the common goal of educating our children is not simply noble, it is necessary for education to actually occur. I am not challenging that.
What I am challenging is why such a small group of people should feel free to speak for such a large group (more than 12,000) without even the benefit of a public meeting.
On these issues, the Huntsville Council of PTAs does not speak for me, but more importantly since my daughter is at a merging school and my son is suffering from cuts to the Special Education budget, they are not speaking on behalf of my children.
I hope that my assessment is wrong. If not, I hope that it will change. And change soon.
Very good point, Russell! This should have been something all PTA members voted on. I am still looking for a good reason to join PTA. But dissenting opinions don’t seem to be welcome, so I suppose that might be why we didn’t hear about it ahead of time.
I don’t mind that there wasn’t a vote, per say, but at the very least the discussion should have been open to PTA members. That wouldn’t have required much more than a brief notice on their website, and honestly it probably would not have been well attended.
Making an attempt at transparency usually goes quite a long way.
I do appreciate the work that the PTA does in our local schools. But political decisions like this should at least be open to the members to observe and comment on before they are made.
Regardless of whether or not one thinks Dr. Wardynski is doing a good job…offering an award such as this to someone who hasn’t been on the job for even a year is premature. I mean, sure, ANYONE would be better than our previous superintendent, but I don’t understand the rush to offer raises and accolades. Let’s see a little bit of results first.
Agreed. The first thing that popped into my head after a bit of “What the . . .” was that this was exactly like awarding Obama the Noble for not being Bush.
Curious, I know Emma’s award was made public at the board meeting a month prior to the actual event. Shouldn’t have Wardynski’s award been made public at the same time. Hmmmmm? Strange it seemed to have been kept secret? Wonder why?
Her award was decided much earlier than his. I suspect his will be announced on Thursday.
Yes, but my point was that it was prior to the event. I am sure there would of definitely been some negative feedback, had it been announced early like Emma’s. But your diplomacy is always appreciated.
Hey Russ – the citizen comments at tonights Board meeting were NOT TELEVISIED.
Right after Mrs McCaulley said ” we will pause before citizen comments” the live broadcast was stopped. What’s going on; do you know? What happened during the comments? Is this yet another attempt to quiet criticism of wardynski?
Yeah, I was told it was an accident. I’ve got a post going up about it right now.
I agree that awarding anyone “Best ____ of the year” before they have even completed a year is ridiculous. Why expect anything else though? When you give someone free rein with no controls anything can happen and does. Such as paying 1.2 million to place non-certified, non-highly-qualified, non-education degree people in classrooms and call them teachers (Teach for America. If they wanted to be teachers, they would have gone to school and got an education degree, but they did not.
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